Muzaffarabad: Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Kashmir, while talking at various events during his tour of the Poonch Division, has said that the China-Pakistan Economic will run its course and no power will be able to stop it or decelerate its momentum. “This is a historic juggernaut that would not stop”.
Addressing concerns expressed by lawyers, political workers, educationists and students, the President said that projects under CPEC were being implemented with speed, precision and efficiency. “Early dividends from early harvest projects are already benefiting Pakistan’s economy”.
Sardar Masood Khan said that Azad Kashmir had now been inextricably linked to the Corridor, as work on the 720 MW Karot Hydropower Project and the 1124 MW Kohala Hydropower, located in the Azad territory, was moving full steam ahead. Two others projects – an expressway connecting Azad Kashmir with the CPEC route at Mansehra and an industrial zone in Mirpur – have already been approved and preliminary work on them has started. “The ambit of CPEC will be expanded to other areas in due course”, he said.
“It is pointless to oppose or protest against these projects. They are being completed and will be completed, no matter what. That is the collective will and decision of the people of Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan, because they are the ultimate custodians and direct beneficiaries of these projects. Nobody can deny them their right to develop and prosper”, he said.
The President said that India’s objections to the CPEC are fake and spurious. While India has unleashed a reign of terror in the Occupied Kashmir through its occupation forces, it wants now to deny the Kashmiris on this side their right to develop. “This would not be allowed to happen”, he said.
President Masood Khan said there was a universal sentiment in the Occupied Kashmir across to political spectrum to be included in the CPEC because the Jammu and Kashmir State is an integral component of the economic geography that underpins the Corridor. Even the regime installed in Srinagar by the Indian Government has expressed the same aspiration.
Sardar Masood Khan said that in the past the US was supportive of the CPEC; or at least it chose to remain quiet officially on this mega-project. In fact, many in the US saw that the project in the long run would benefit Western businesses and bring stability and prosperity to South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia, but primarily to Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was also seen as serving the United States larger interests in the region. That has been, he said, a wise and prudent policy given the strategic complexities in the region.
Raising any doubts about the Corridor, the President said, or looking at a purely economic project through India’s geo-political lens will be a mistake. It would not, he said, hamper the implementation of the project but it could vitiate the atmosphere. This, the President said, should be averted at all costs.